One of the exciting things about having a blog is the ability to share hidden gems with an audience. A few months ago we found a video series called “Growing Up Guide Pup.” Through this video series we’ve had a chance to follow Ricki’s training from an 8-week-old puppy adjusting to her first night in a crate to becoming a full fledged guide dog!
These furry friends offer such an important service to the blind and visually impaired, it really is amazing how much discipline and hard work is involved in the training of a guide dog, from both the trainer and the dog itself. With that said, we here at Nylabone are very happy to see that our products assist in the training of Ricki the Guide Dog. As you will see in the videos below Ricki and her brother Eli are quite the Nylabone fans and can be seen enjoying a good chew on many occasions in this video series! Keep up the great work Ricki!
Here are a few of Ricki’s most recent videos:
Ricki takes a trip to LA. Amie discovers that Ricki has the best traveling ability out of the 10 dogs she has raised so far.
Ricki’s first trip to the dentist office. Amie Explains why Ricki has a leash on all the time. Eli gets into trouble eating strawberries. The Macklin door is discussed.
Amie answers questions from the viewers. We review Ricki’s potty training progress, her favorite toys (hint it’s a Nylabone!), and her relationship with the cats.
Ricki and Eli experience snow for the first time. Ricki takes her first trip to a warehouse store.
Amie introduces career changed guide pup Marianna to the show. Ricki takes her first trip to the beach for Eli’s 6th Birthday. Co-raiser Elizabeth brings ex-guide Morrissey to the beach bash.
Most Common Breeds:
Most guide dog schools use golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, or German shepherds. These three breeds are characterized by intelligence, obedience, stamina and friendliness and so are well suited for the job.
Tasked performed by Guide Dogs:
- Keep on a direct route, ignoring distractions such as smells, other animals, and people
- Maintain a steady pace, to the left and just ahead of the handler
- Stop at all curbs until told to proceed
- Turn left and right, move forward, and stop on command
- Recognize and avoid obstacles that the handler won’t be able to fit through (narrow passages and low overheads)
- Stop at the bottom and top of stairs until told to proceed
- Bring the handler to elevator buttons
- Lie quietly when the handler is sitting down
- Help the handler to board and move around buses, subways, and other forms of public transportation
- Obey a number of verbal commands
How dogs know when its time to work:
Guide dogs make the distinction between work and play based on their lead harness: When the harness is on, they must stay completely focused—when it comes off, it’s play time. Guide dogs work very hard every day, but they lead extremely happy lives, full of lots of attention and stimulation. Dogs only end up working as guide dogs if they absolutely love the work. In fact, many handlers report that their dogs leap enthusiastically into the harness every morning!